Commander of UK’s Maritime Reserve Forces Visits HMS Sherwood

Commander of UK's Maritime Reserve Forces Visits HMS Sherwood

The Commander of the UK’s Maritime Reserve Forces has made his first visit to HMS Sherwood in Nottingham to meet Royal Navy and Royal Marine Reservists based there.

HMS Sherwood is the home of the Royal Navy in the East Midlands and the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) Unit for Reservists across the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and further afield.

It is also home to the Nottingham Detachment of Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) Merseyside.

Commodore Gareth Derrick, Royal Navy, attended the Unit’s Annual Review and Roll of Honour, where he presented medals and awards to Reservists in front of gathered civic dignitaries and Reservists employers and families.

“I am very pleased to be at HMS Sherwood, this is my first visit to Nottingham and is long overdue, but it has been worth the wait. I have now visited all RNR and RMR Units,” said Commodore Derrick.

“On behalf of the Navy Board I would like to thank you, and your families and employers, for your excellent support.

“I can assure you that all of your efforts are appreciated by all senior members of the Royal Navy.”

Commodore Derrick presented Chief Petty Officer Samantha Martin, 43, from Nottingham, with the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire’s Certificate for Meritorious Service.

The award is made in recognition of exceptional service by a volunteer and ranks in precedence just after Honours bestowed by Her Majesty the Queen in the New Year and Birthday Honours lists.

“I was thrilled to have received this award – and it was fantastic to have been presented with it by Commodore Derrick,” said CPO Martin.

“I just get on with my job and do it to the best of my ability, so to be honoured in this way is lovely.”

Leading Seaman Derek Parsons, 44, from Ripley in Derbyshire, was awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal by Commodore Derrick following his mobilisation to Helmand Province this year.

“I am really proud to have represented the Royal Naval Reserve in Afghanistan, so far from the sea, and to have helped the local Afghan people,” said LS Parsons.

“To have been presented with my campaign medal by Commander Maritime Reserves was a real honour.”

Commodore Derrick also presented the Volunteer Reserve Service Medal to Surgeon Commander Brendon McKeating, 54, from Nottingham, in recognition of his long and efficient service of proved capacity in the Reserve Forces.

Cdr McKeating, who joined the RNR after serving in the Royal Navy, is a former Commanding Officer of HMS Sherwood and Head of the RNR Medical Branch.

For the past eight years he has also been Chairman of the British Medical Association Armed Forces Committee.

Awards were also made to members of HMS Sherwood’s Ship’s Company in recognition of their service and performance.

  • Lieutenant Jeff West, 43, from Woore in Shropshire, was presented with the Gilbert Towle Sword;
  • Able Seaman Jonathon Browne, 40, from Chesterfield, was presented with the Chief Radio Supervisor Hall Trophy
  • Able Seaman Sarah Newby, 26, from Nottingham, was awarded the Commanding Officer’s Trophy.

Commodore Derrick used his visit to HMS Sherwood to talk about how future changes to the Reserve Forces in the Government’s Future Reserve 2020 (FR20) Strategy will affect the Maritime Reserves.

“We are committed to significantly expanding Reserve Forces and doing more with them,” said Commodore Derrick.

“There will be more opportunities for high-quality training with the regulars and more opportunities to serve alongside them on exercises and operations, but we will protect the nature of Reserve Service.”

During the evening six promotions that will come in to effect in 2013 were also announced and HMS Sherwood’s Commanding Officer, Commander Martin Clegg, thanked Reservists for their commitment and contribution during 2012.

“This has been an exceptional year for HMS Sherwood with a number of our Reservists supporting the Windsor Armed Forces Muster and Thames River Pageant celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“A large proportion of our Ship’s Company were also mobilised for Op Olympics – the security operation for the London Olympic Games,” said Cdr Clegg.

“Meanwhile my Recruiting and Outreach team and Initial Naval Training staff have worked extremely hard to promote HMS Sherwood and the Royal Naval Reserve and to attract and train new Recruits.”

Civic dignitaries who attended HMS Sherwood’s 2012 Review of the Year and Unit Roll of Honour were:

  • Councillor Pepper, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council and Mr Pepper (Consort); Councillor Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council;
  • Brigadier (Retired) Gregory, Corporate Director for Environment & Resources, Nottinghamshire County Council;
  • Councillor and Mrs Buschman, Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress, Rushcliffe Borough Council;
  • Councillor Campbell, Chairman, Bassetlaw District Council;
  • Councillor and Mr Handley, Mayor and Consort, Broxtowe Borough Council;
  • Councillor and Mr Barnes, Mayor and Escort, Gedling Borough Council.

Naval Today Staff, December 20, 2012; Image: Royal Navy